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WordPress 3.6 Beta 2

Posted April 29, 2013 by Mark Jaquith. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 3.6 Beta 2 is now available!

This is software still in development and we really don’t recommend that you run it on a production site — set up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 3.6, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

The longer-than-usual delay between beta 1 and beta 2 was due to poor user testing results with the Post Formats UI. Beta 2 contains a modified approach for format choosing and switching, which has done well in user testing. We’ve also made the Post Formats UI hide-able via Screen Options, and set a reasonable default based on what your theme supports.

There were a lot of bug fixes and polishing tweaks done for beta 2 as well, so definitely check it out if you had an issues with beta 1.

Plugin developers, theme developers, and WordPress hosts should be testing beta 2 extensively. The more you test the beta, the more stable our release candidates and our final release will be.

As always, if you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we’ve fixed so far.

We’re looking forward to your feedback. If you find a bug, please report it, and if you’re a developer, try to help us fix it. We’ve already had more than 150 contributors to version 3.6 — it’s not too late to join in!

Summer Mentorship Programs: GSoC and Gnome

Posted April 25, 2013 by Jen. Filed under Community, Development.

As an open source, free software project, WordPress depends on the contributions of hundreds of people from around the globe — contributions in areas like core code, documentation, answering questions in the support forums, translation, and all the other things it takes to make WordPress the best publishing platform it can be, with the most supportive community. This year, we’re happy to be participating as a mentoring organization with two respected summer internship programs: Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and the Gnome Outreach Program for Women.

Google Summer of Code

GSoC is a summer internship program funded by Google specifically for college/university student developers to work on open source coding projects. We have participated in the Google Summer of Code program in the past, and have enjoyed the opportunity to work with students in this way. Some of our best core developers were GSoC students once upon a time!

Our mentors, almost 30 talented developers with experience developing WordPress, will provide students with guidance and feedback over the course of the summer, culminating in the release of finished projects at the end of the program if all goes well.

Students who successfully complete the program earn $5,000 for their summer efforts. Interested, or know a college student (newly accepted to college counts, too) who should be? All the information you need about our participation in the program, projects, mentors, and the application process is available on the GSoC 2013 page in the Codex.

Gnome Outreach Program for Women

It’s not news that women form a low percentage of contributors in most open source projects, and WordPress is no different. We have great women in the contributor community, including some in fairly visible roles, but we still have a lot of work to do to get a representative gender balance on par with our user base.

The Gnome Outreach Program for Women aims to provide opportunities for women to participate in open source projects, and offers a similar stipend, but there are three key differences between GSoC and Gnome aside from the gender requirement for Gnome.

  1. The Gnome program allows intern projects in many areas of contribution, not just code. In other words, interns can propose projects like documentation, community management, design, translation, or pretty much any area in which we have people contributing (including code).
  2. The Gnome Outreach Program for Women doesn’t require interns to be college students, though students are definitely welcome to participate. This means that women in all stages of life and career can take the opportunity to try working with open source communities for the summer.
  3. We have to help raise the money to pay the interns. Google funds GSoC on its own, and we only have to provide our mentors’ time. Gnome doesn’t have the same funding, so we need to pitch in to raise the money to cover our interns. If your company is interested in helping with this, please check out the program’s sponsorship information and follow the contact instructions to get involved. You can earmark donations to support WordPress interns, or to support the program in general. (Pick us, pick us! 🙂 )

The summer installment of the Gnome Outreach Program for Women follows the same schedule and general application format as GSoC, though there are more potential projects since it covers more areas of contribution. Women college students interested in doing a coding project are encouraged to apply for both programs to increase the odds of acceptance. All the information you need about our participation in the program, projects, mentors, and the application process is available on the Gnome Outreach Program for Women page in the Codex.

The application period just started, and it lasts another week (May 1 for Gnome, May 3 for GSoC), so if you think you qualify and are interested in getting involved, check out the information pages, get in touch, and apply… Good luck!

Google Summer of Code 2013 Information
Gnome Summer Outreach Program for Women 2013 Information

WordPress 10th Anniversary Tees

Posted April 23, 2013 by Jen. Filed under Events, Store.

WordPress 10th Anniversary logoIn honor of the upcoming 10th anniversary celebrations, we’ve put a special 10th anniversary tshirt in the swag store at cost — $10 per shirt plus shipping. They’ll be on sale at this price until the anniversary on May 27, and they’ll start shipping out the week of April 29.

Some people who are planning parties or who organize meetups are already talking about doing group orders to save on shipping costs, which is a great idea — just make sure you allow enough shipping time. If you’re not sure if the tees could make it to you in time on your side of the world, use the contact options at the bottom of the store page to ask about shipping times. If they can’t reach you in time and you want to have a local printer do some for your group, we’ll post the vector file on the wp10 site within the next week (and this post will get updated accordingly).

The shirts are available in black or silvery gray. Why silvery gray? Because of trivia: the traditional gift for 10th anniversaries is tin or aluminum. 🙂

Silver and Black tshirts with WordPress 10th anniversary logo on them

Save the Date: May 27

Posted April 11, 2013 by Jen. Filed under Events.

What’s on May 27, you ask?

May 27, 2013 is the 10th anniversary of the first WordPress release!

We think this is worth celebrating, and we want WordPress fans all over the world to celebrate with us by throwing their own parties. We’re using Meetup Everywhere to coordinate, and will be putting up a website just for the 10th Anniversary so that we can collect photos, videos, tweets, and posts from all the parties.

The rules are very simple:

  1. Pick a place to go where a bunch of people can be merry — a park, a bar, a backyard, whatever
  2. Spread the word to local meetups, tech groups, press, etc and get people to say they’ll come to your party
  3. If 50 or more people RSVP to your party, we’ll try to send you some WordPress stickers and buttons
  4. Have party attendees post photos, videos, and the like with the #wp10 hashtag

We’ll be using Meetup Everywhere to coordinate parties all over the world, so get your city on the map and register your party now !

We’ll follow up with registered organizers  over the next few weeks with some tips for how to publicize your party and to get addresses for swag packages. To that end, make sure you check the option that lets WordPress 10th Anniversary know your email, or we won’t be able to get in touch with you for these things or to give you access to the WP10 blog.

Whose party will be the biggest? The most fun? The most inventive? Will it be yours?

Note: If you already run a group on meetup.com, making your party an event in your group is great, but you still need to post it and have people RSVP at the special party page, because regular groups and Meetup Everywhere groups aren’t connected yet. 

WordPress 3.6 Beta 1

Posted April 4, 2013 by Mark Jaquith. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 3.6 Beta 1 is now available!

This is software still in development and we really don’t recommend that you run it on a production site — set up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 3.6, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

We’ve been working for nearly three months and have completed all the features that are slated for this release. This is a bit of a change from the betas of previous release cycles. I felt very strongly that we shouldn’t release a beta if we were still working on completing the main features. This beta is actually a beta, not an alpha that we’re calling a beta. If you are a WordPress plugin or theme developer, or a WordPress hosting provider, you should absolutely start testing your code against this new version now. More bugs will be fixed, and some of the features will get polished, but we’re not going to shove in some big new feature. We’re ready for you to test it, so jump in there! The more you test the beta, the more stable our release candidates and our final release will be.

As always, if you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we’ve fixed so far.

Here’s what’s new in 3.6:

  • Post Formats:  Post Formats now have their own UI, and theme authors have access to templating functions to access the structured data.
  • Twenty Thirteen: We’re shipping this year’s default theme in our first release of the year. Twenty Thirteen is an opinionated, color-rich, blog-centric theme that makes full use of the new Post Formats support.
  • Audio/Video: You can embed audio and video files into your posts without relying on a plugin or a third party media hosting service.
  • Autosave:  Posts are now autosaved locally. If your browser crashes, your computer dies, or the server goes offline as you’re saving, you won’t lose the your post.
  • Post Locking:  See when someone is currently editing a post, and kick them out of it if they fall asleep at the keyboard.
  • Nav Menus:  Nav menus have been simplified with an accordion-based UI, and a separate tab for bulk-assigning menus to locations.
  • Revisions: The all-new revisions UI features avatars, a slider that “scrubs” through history, and two-slider range comparisons.

Developers:  You make WordPress awesome(er). One of the things we strive to do with every release is be compatible with existing plugins and themes. But we need your help. Please test your plugins and themes against 3.6. If something isn’t quite right, please let us know. (Chances are, it wasn’t intentional.) If you’re a forward-thinking theme developer, you should be looking at implementing the new Post Format support in some of your themes (look to Twenty Thirteen for inspiration).

We’re looking forward to your feedback. If you break it (i.e. find a bug), please report it, and if you’re a developer, try to help us fix it. We’ve already had more than 150 contributors to version 3.6 — it’s not too late to join the party!

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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